Frailty (2001) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Frailty (2001) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on July 08th, 2019 | Movie Review | Slow Burn, Religion, Drama, Psychological, Madness, Serial Killer

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It's about a single dad who believes he's been chosen by God to kill demons (AKA random people) and his two sons who are forced to help him.

Frailty was directed by Bill Paxton and stars Bill Paxton (from The Colony, Club Dread, The Vagrant), Matthew McConaughey (from The Dark Tower, T he Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation) and Powers Boothe (from Mutant Species).

"Only demons should fear me... and you're not a demon, are you?"

Frailty Review

Frailty really caught me off guard. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn't a psychological thriller that could rival great other great psychological classics of our time. It starts out with an unknown man walking into an FBI office with information about a notorious serial killer. From this point forward it becomes similar to The Usual Suspects in how he narrates the story. As he tells the story of his childhood and his, and his brothers, experience with his serial killing dad things really get dark.

Frailty gives you a look into the mind of a serial killer as well as a look at what can create serial killers. It also illustrates the unimaginable extent to which parents, sane or otherwise, can influence children. It also touches on, and becomes unexpectedly biased toward, religion.

I'm surprised Frailty never rose to the same level of popularity that it deserves. It easily stands alongside Silence of the Lambs, Shutter Island, The Sixth Sense, Jacobs Ladder and even movies like The Shining . Matthew McConaughey and Bill Paxton's roles are no less powerful than Anthony Hopkins', Leonardo DiCaprio's, Bruce Willis', Tim Robbins' or Jack Nicholson's. Frailty pulls you in from the very first scene and leaves you staring at the screen throughout the ending credits.

This is one of those great films where every detail means something and they all come together in an ending you never see coming. Saying anything more would risk venturing into spoiler territory, so I'll leave it at that.

Worth Watching?

Definitely. Frailty's a slow burn and more of a thriller than a horror. There's no on-screen kills or gore and not much suspense. Instead, you get an uncomfortably realistic view into the mind of a delusional (or is he?) serial killer that delivers fear and dread in how real it feels. I streamed this on Shudder, but will be buying the Blu-ray for my permanent collection.


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